Editorial by Hope Hancock, read more at her website here.
“I’m fed up with being kept in the dark about GMO and non-GMO labeling,” Jennifer Garner, the Miracles from Heaven star, speaks candidly to a reporter at an event for “Just Label It”, an organization known for fighting food companies to label GMO products.
“Food sustains our bodies, minds and souls,” Garner continued flashing her perfect Hollywood smile, “as a mother, I feel it is my responsibility to know what I am feeding my family. We need transparency in our food industry.”
For many people, including Hollywood stars Gisele Büdchen and Kourtney Kardashian, the major apprehension is GMO crops are engineered to be herbicide resistant. Therefore, weeds become resistant or more toxic requiring more herbicides to be applied.
I hate to say this to Jennifer and the rest of Hollywood, but that kind of thinking is flawed. It is only leading the way for marketers to promote their products as non-GMO even if there are no GMO ingredients included. Likewise, labeling foods originated from GMO suggest there is a difference where none exists—issues even regulators have recognized. Since the word “genetically modified organism” was introduced, there has been a putrid stigma surrounding the issue. They are neither less safe nor less “natural” than other common foods. GMO derived crops reduce soil damage, carbon emissions, and insecticide use—goals reflective of organic agriculture. There is a letter with more than 100 Nobel laureates’ signatures backing that up.
Regarding this food fight, I have to ask Jennifer if she has considered a world without GMO. Could she imagine a world without oranges on her table? Or Chicken? Or Seafood? Due to certain epidemics like the citrus-greening virus, the avian flu or the simple fact that agriculturalists will have to double food production on less acres to feed a growing world population of 9 billion in 2050, that could be a very probable outcome. As of now, we are so lucky that farmers have the option to grow non-GMO crops, but where would you be, Jennifer, if that were not a viable solution? As my mother used to say, “there are no atheists in foxholes.” There cannot be foodies in a food shortage.